Haunting Violations

Haunting Violations : Feminist Criticism and the Crisis of the "Real"

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Feminist critics place a premium on the "real" stories told by the victimized and the oppressed. "Haunting Violations" offers a corrective to such uncritical acceptance of the "real" in confessional, testimonial, and ethnographic narratives. Through close readings of a wide variety of texts, contributors argue that depictions of the "real" are inherently performative, crafted within the limits and in the interests of specific personal, political, or social projects. "Haunting Violations" explores the inseparability of discourse and politics in quasi-autobiographical works such as "I", "Rigoberta Mench" and "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places". Contributors consider how the Sri Lankan Mother's Front movement exploits the sanctity of the maternal and how multiple political purposes on both sides bleed through government "documentary" photographs of Japanese-American concentration camp internees.
This volume also investigates how South Asian feminists use the authority of their personal experience to critique the film Mississippi Masala and how realist narratives, such as Janet Campbell Hale's autobiographical "Bloodlines", Margie Strosser's documentary film "Rape Stories", and Shekur Kapur's film "Bandit Queen", reexamine how assumptions about power and trauma are embedded in the promise of the real.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 158.75 x 228.6 x 25.4mm
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252026101
  • 9780252026102

Review quote

ADVANCE PRAISE "How feminists might speak to, for, and about the real is at the heart of this important project. These essays offer informative and timely interventions in critical debates about the limitations on and necessity of referring to a real that is saturated with violence." - Leigh Gilmore, author of The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony "This valuable collection addresses current crises in feminist criticism and women's studies as they apply to the dilemmas of real-world activism. Using film, photography, novels, and testimonials as texts, the authors find representation at once an object of inquiry and a phenomenal act of resistance." - Shirley Samuels, author of Romances of the Republic: Women, the Family, and Violence in the Literature of the Early American Nation
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